Hypertension

What is Hypertension? (Also referred to as High Blood Pressure, or HBP)

High blood pressure occurs when the force of the blood pushing against the walls of the blood vessels, called arteries, is consistently too high. Over time, the swelling and stretching of the arteries can cause damage to the lining of the arteries and allow bad cholesterol (LDL) and white blood cells to enter. Eventually, the cholesterol and cell build up will form plaque. The plaque can break off, forming a blood clot and block the artery, which prevents oxygen from getting to the heart muscle or brain. Measuring blood pressure helps determine how easy or difficult it is for a heart to circulate blood throughout the body. The size of the arteries and amount of blood pumped by the heart will determine whether or not a patient has high blood pressure.

Who is at risk for heart disease?

  • Age 55 and older
  • Diabetic
  • Genetics and family history
  • High blood pressure
  • Overweight
  • Race or ethnicity
  • Smoker

If untreated, high blood pressure can lead to:

  • Heart attack, angina or both
  • Heart failure
  • Peripheral arterial disease
  • Stroke

Diagnosing Hypertension

Normal blood pressure: systolic pressure of less than 120 and a diastolic pressure of less than 80

Elevated blood pressure: systolic pressure between 120 and 129 with a diastolic pressure of less than 80

Hypertension stage 1: systolic pressure between 130 and 139 with a diastolic pressure of 80 to 89

Hypertension stage 2: systolic pressure of 140 or higher with a diastolic pressure of 90 or higher

Crisis: systolic pressure higher than 180 and/or with a diastolic pressure higher than 120. If this is the case, it is recommended to consult your doctor immediately.

Lifestyle changes used to control hypertension:

  • Eat healthy
  • Limit consuming alcohol
  • Lose weight
  • Manage stress
  • Monitor your blood pressure at home and have regular check ups with a doctor
  • No smoking
  • Reduce sodium in your diet
  • Stay active
For More Information

Why Choose Hackensack Meridian Health for Heart Care

Quality

We have more top-ranked hospitals than any other system in New Jersey, including for the best Cardiology & Heart Surgery program and as High Performing in several areas of care, including Aortic Valve Surgery, Heart Attack and Heart Bypass Surgery, as noted by U.S. News & World Report.

Innovation

Our award-winning team of experienced heart specialists uses the latest diagnostic equipment and minimally invasive surgical techniques to diagnose and treat common and complex heart conditions.

Comprehensive heart care

Our team-based approach pairs you with top heart experts. From prevention and diagnosis to surgery and rehabilitation, we provide comprehensive heart care in a compassionate, friendly environment close to home.

Patient speaking with doctor
Our Top Heart Doctors in New Jersey

Our highly skilled team of heart specialists perform more than 3,000 procedures every year, including advanced, minimally invasive approaches. We provide exceptional cardiac treatment and personalized care to help you recover as quickly and safely as possible.

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